'A crazy few weeks' - City star on Barcelona transfer links
Transfer windows are renowned for their unpredictability, but few expected a Norwich City player to get linked with one of the biggest clubs in world football in FC Barcelona.
For Max Aarons, that was the reality during a turbulent and relentless period that saw his name mentioned alongside the Spanish giants. The 20-year-old was the subject of firm and real interest from Barca, only for Ronald Koeman to elect to sign Sergino Dest.
Aarons was interesting Barca after a series of impressive performances for the Canaries. They were keen to take the right-back on loan with a view to buy, something that wasn't palatable for City, who would only entertain a loan offer that contained an obligation to buy.
Speaking to esteemed journalist Guillem Balague on the 'Can We Come In?' podcast, Aarons reveals what it was like to be sought after by a club of Barcelona's size.
“There was a lot of talk and that time period was a crazy few weeks when everything was going off," Aarons explained. "To be linked with the biggest club in the world, in my opinion, was amazing.
“There’s going to be a time where you can say more and speak about it in a bit more detail but as soon as it was over and everything was finished, I couldn’t be disheartened or down about anything. I’ve got a job to do at Norwich and play the best I can. That’s what was important to me at the time.
“It was a crazy few weeks and to be linked with that size of a club was amazing and brought it to me that I should be grateful and (reminded me of) how hard I’ve worked.”
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Despite City boss Daniel Farke praising Aarons' mentality during that period, City's academy graduate admits it was difficult not to pay attention to the interest.
“It was hard (to go back to normal after the interest). With a club of that size, sometimes your head can be completely turned and it would be wrong to say that it’s not but I’m only 20-years-old and I’ve got a load of years ahead of me where I can play at the highest level.
“As soon as it was over, I spoke with the people around me and everything was back to how it was. Nothing changed. That’s me and my character, I just got on with everything again, playing the best I can. That’s what is important to me.
“As soon as it came out, I’d get the ball in training and people would be shouting ‘Alves, Alves!’ and I had to laugh to myself but at the time, the manager and everyone was finding it funny. They call me Dani Alves sometimes. It’s worn off a bit more now that everything has blown over, I still get called it sometimes which is funny.”